We may join Orbán’s EU parliament right-wing alliance, says Germany’s AfD co-leader Weidel

The AfD signals it may join the Orbán-backed Patriots of Europe group, but it is just one of many parties that may potentially join

By John Cody
4 Min Read

Alternative for Germany (AfD) co-leader Alice Weidel says her party may join the Patriots of Europe, a new alliance of right-wing parties backed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, adding that the foundation of the party is an “absolutely great” development.

In an interview with Zeit Online, Weidel said that while her party may not join the new grouping in the short term, she added “who knows what we will do in the medium and long term.”

Nevertheless, she said she is “full of admiration” for Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) leader Herbert Kickl and Orbán, who are two founding members of the new group along with ANO leader, former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

Weidel’s comments come after the three-party group picked up its first new member yesterday when the Portuguese Chega party joined the alliance. However, even after the alliance rose to four parties, the group is not yet an official grouping in the EU parliament. Although it has the required 23 MEPs, it still needs MEPs from three more countries, according to EP rules. If Germany’s AfD were to join, it would need only two more countries.

The AfD is currently seeking out a new party faction at the EU level due to being expelled from the Identity and Democracy (ID) group after a pressure campaign from National Rally — a move seen as a betrayal by many European conservatives. Notably, the “final straw” appeared to be comments about the SS from the AfD’s lead candidate, MEP Maximilian Krah, which were greatly misconstrued. Although AfD leadership also piled onto Krah over the comments, the German party’s attempts to rejoin ID were rebuffed even after expelling Krah from their EU parliament faction.

In the Zeit interview, Weidel also signaled that her party is potentially open to remaining alone for the time being, saying, “We will stay alone for now and see what develops over the next one or two years.”

Although the new Patriots of Europe grouping was initially maligned by the international press, it is reportedly in talks with a number of major parties, including from the ID group, that may end up joining.

On July 1, Italian League leader Matteo Salvini expressed his interest in potentially joining the new EU parliamentary party.

“Joining those putting jobs, the family and the future of young people at the center seems the right road to me,” said Salvini during an interview with Rai Radio.

In addition, Spain’s Vox party, Slovakia’s Smer party led by Robert Fico, Geert Wilder’s party in the Netherlands, Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS), and other potential partners are reportedly talking of joining the group.

If the new Orbán-backed group can obtain five EU member states that collectively represent 35.7 percent of the bloc’s population, it could hold a blocking minority in the European Council due to the qualified majority voting system.

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